Dreams: A Symbolic Language

Each of us dreams about four or five times a night. Of course, many of these dreams go unremembered. Some people never remember their dreams. Most people do remember some dreams but they do not stay with them very long. Dreams start to deteriorate in the memory very quickly. If you are trying to stay aware of your dreams it is a good idea to keep a pen and paper very close to your bed. There are those rare individuals who have great recall for their dreams.

 

Dreams speak to us in a highly symbolic language. I have heard lots of people say that they had a weird dream. The challenge with dreams is to move beneath the seeming randomness or strangeness and to capture the symbolic picture of what the psyche is saying to us. There are at least three levels of possible symbolic meaning in a dream, the personal, the cultural and the archetypal. Water, as a symbol, is an interesting example. So someone dreams about water. If they almost drowned as a child there might be a very negative personal association with water. Here in Hawaii water is everything. We are surrounded by it and our very existence depends on it. Our whole culture here is centered around water. On the archetypal level water is the unconscious, the emotions and the carrier of life. When we look at a dream we must look at each element and try to see on which levels the symbols are speaking.

 

Another important aspect of dreams is their basic structure. Each dream has a beginning, middle and end. The beginning of the dream presents what the dream is about. Is your dream about work or relationships or perhaps some aspect of our personality.? They middle of the dream is the action. This tells us what is going on with the topic of the dream. The end is the pointing finger. This tells us about the direction things are headed in or sometimes leaves us with an important question to ponder.

 

Each dream is an invitation into the mystery of our lives and our relationship with the powerful forces we are surrounded by. They are a doorway, a portal that provides an opportunity for us to listen to the unconscious. They challenge us to see more deeply into our lives and the universe.

 

To make a Jungian counseling and psychotherapy appointment for an in person session in Kihei on Maui or to set up an online Jungian counseling and psychotherapy session call 808-280-3450 or go to the appointments page of this website.


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